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China to US: Stop plundering Syrian resources, pull troops out

A US military convoy is seen on the main road in Raqqa, Syria. (Photo by Reuters)

China has called on the United States to stop plundering the natural resources in Syria and withdraw its military forces from the country.

"We call on the United States to sincerely respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of other countries, and to immediately stop its illegal military presence and marauding in Syria," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a news briefing on Friday.

China also urged the US to lift the illegal sanctions slapped on Syria and to stop all actions that exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the country.

"The United States has illegally intervened in military activities related to the Syrian crisis, which has led to the death of a large number of innocent civilians and a serious humanitarian disaster," Mao said, adding that his government calls on the US authorities to lift "illegal unilateral sanctions" against Syria and to stop actions that aggravate the humanitarian situation in the country.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, since 2014 the Syrian crisis in the country has resulted in at least 350,000 people losing their lives in the violence, and 14 million being in dire need of humanitarian aid.

In the meantime, the US Congress on Thursday rejected a bill calling for the exit of US occupation troops from Syria.

The majority of US House lawmakers, 321 to 103, voted against the Syria War Powers resolution which required US President Joe Biden to bring American troops home within 180 days.

The rejected bill, which was introduced by Florida Republican lawmaker Matt Gaetz, followed a recent incident in which four American soldiers were wounded while conducting a raid in the Arab country.

Gaetz slammed US lawmakers for voting against the bill, insisting that the US Congress had never authorized military action in Syria in the first place.

“There is no role for the United States of America in Syria. We are not a Middle Eastern power. We have tried to build a democracy out of the sand, blood, and Arab militias,” Gaetz said.

“Time and again, the work we do does not reduce chaos. Oftentimes, it causes chaos – the very chaos that then subsequently leads to terrorism. While today’s vote may have failed, my fight to end forever wars and bring our troops home has only just begun,” he added.

Gaetz further noted that several prior Inspector General Reports have concluded that a resurgence of Daesh in Syria is “unlikely,” instead claiming that the American presence has served as a “recruiting tool” for the terrorist group.  

US-led occupation forces invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of the emergence of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group which had seized huge swathes of land in both Syria and neighboring Iraq and aimed to overrun Iran as well.

It took over three years for the national Iraqi and Syrian armies to liberate the areas from the grip of the world’s most notorious terrorist group.

Damascus and Baghdad declared the extermination of the terrorist outfit in late 2017 and have since been involved in clear-up operations against the extremist group’s remnants.

Despite the announced demise of Daesh, Iraq’s border regions shared with Syria are still suffering from sporadic attacks by underground cells.

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